Bishop Kukah Laments on ASUU Strike

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, has said the fact that Nigerian universities are still closed after so many months is intolerable.

Bishop Kukah stated this on Wednesday at the signing of a peace accord ahead of the Osun State gubernatorial election.

He said the prolonged strike does not speak well of the democracy we profess to be practicing.

“This is unacceptable, especially as these things are happening in a democracy,” Kukah insisted.

The cleric expressed his sadness at the length of the strike, noting that democracy has always provided the people with a forum for negotiation, consensus-building, and a variety of other strategies for resolving disputes like those between the government and the authorities of various universities.

According to him, Nigeria must realise that the nation’s democracy cannot advance unless colleges provide possibilities for scholarly inquiry, analysis, and thinking.

The bishop argued that the most crucial thing for political actors at this moment is to take their responsibilities sufficiently seriously. He said all Nigerians must, at this time, try to make the nation’s democracy work.

He expressed sadness that the country is increasingly witnessing a transition from democratic rule to plutocracy.

He said, “the share amount of money that is being spent not just in campaigns but in just picking a piece of paper to declare intension to participate is not acceptable”.

“Majority of our people remain hungry and sick, and we cannot be flaunting this wealth in a democracy because if that is the system we wanted, we will call it a plutocracy, in which case only rich men and women can participate in the process,” the cleric admonished.

He encouraged the political players to take action in response to the necessity to widen the spheres of participation in national decision-making.

Bishop Kukah urged Nigerians to participate in the election process by casting a ballot, pointing out that the constitution’s established governance structure is a critical factor in how quickly the country can be fixed.

Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can guarantee a level playing field, the bishop believed that the actions and behaviour of the political actors would ultimately define how the game would be played.

Kukah made a plea to the political elite based on this concept, urging them to earn the affection and trust of the populace by demonstrating that by choosing democracy, the people have chosen to live.

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